Temba Bavuma has been recalled to an expanded South Africa squad for the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers.

Bavuma missed the Boxing Day Test through injury and was not selected for the next two despite the Proteas' obvious struggles in the batting department.

Having been told to return to domestic cricket and make his mark, the 29-year-old duly delivered with a superb 180 for the Lions against the Dolphins last week, his highest first-class score, and is likely to return to the South Africa XI in Johannesburg.

Beuran Hendricks, Keegan Petersen and Andile Phehlukwayo have also been included in the squad, with South Africa on the verge of going 2-1 down in the series with England poised to win the third Test in Port Elizabeth.

Hendricks and Phehlukwayo will fight it out to replace the suspended Kagiso Rabada.

South Africa squad to face England in the fourth Test: Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Rassie van der Dussen, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Keegan Petersen.

Mark Boucher warned South Africa must "man up" after they were "outskilled" by England on day four of the third Test at St George's Park.

England captain Joe Root took 4-31 in Port Elizabeth after Mark Wood struck twice to ensure England require just four wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

The Proteas were all out for only 209 after losing their last four first-innings wickets for only one run early on the penultimate day and they were in deep trouble on 102-6 - trailing by 188 runs - following on at stumps.

South Africa head coach Boucher offered a frank assessment of his side's shortcomings following a painful rain-affected day, which left them surely relying on the weather to save them on Monday.

"I think we were outskilled, to be honest," he told Sky Sports. "You can blame different things for the situation but I've got to look at myself and find a way to get the players up mentally and upskill them in a short space of time.

"I do think Joe Root was difficult to play at the end there. It's difficult to get down to the pitch of the ball - one slides on, one turns and it's like quicksand, the harder you try the deeper you sink.

"But we've created this situation for ourselves. No excuses - we've got to man up now and take this forward and learn from these lessons.

"When you're under the pump for a long time, every side has its breaking point and today we broke quite early, which is disappointing."

Faf du Plessis went 54 balls without scoring at one point before he was sent packing by part-time spinner Root for 36, but Boucher insisted it is not time to discuss his future as captain.

"That's not a call to make a this moment in time," Boucher said. "He's trying really hard and working really hard away from the game. 

"If he's not scoring runs there's that extra pressure. The best way to answer that is putting runs on the board.

"There's no hiding place in Test cricket. He's disappointed from a team perspective. He spent a bit of time in the middle, which is good for his confidence."

Sunshine Girl vice-captain Nicole Dixon showered praise on head coach Connie Francis following Sunday’s 59-54 win over South Africa in their opening match of the 2020 Vitality Nations Cup.

Joe Root produced the finest bowling performance of his England career on day four of the third Test to put the tourists within sight of victory over South Africa at St George's Park.

Surely only rain can save the hosts now, with a mixed forecast for the final day in Port Elizabeth, where England need only four wickets to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

Root had never taken more than two wickets in a Test, but the captain snagged 4-31 in 19 overs on Sunday after Mark Wood struck twice to leave South Africa 102-6 in their second innings, still trailing by 188 runs.

Part-time off-spinner Root only had one previous four-wicket haul, the 4-5 he took to steer Yorkshire to a County Championship victory against Lancashire at Old Trafford in July 2018.

England were already in command and they pressed home their advantage on day four, with 10 South Africa wickets falling for just 103 runs.

South Africa had a wretched morning, losing four wickets for just one run to slump from 208-6 to 209 all out. England had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on.

Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock were 54 runs into a seventh-wicket stand at stumps on the previous evening, but that partnership was swiftly broken.

Both men went the same way, bowled through the gate, with Stuart Broad (3-30) cleaning up Philander and Sam Curran delighting at removing De Kock (63).

Keshav Maharaj chopped on to give Broad his second wicket of the morning, before a third followed for the paceman when Kagiso Rabada chipped straight to Wood at mid-off.

South Africa were 15-0 in their second innings when rain arrived to provide respite, with three hours lost.

Eight balls into the resumption came another blow to the Proteas, Wood piercing Dean Elgar's defences and tearing his off stump out of the ground.

Wood (2-23) struck again when a leg-side snick from the struggling Zubayr Hamza was gratefully received by Jos Buttler.

Sliced and diced by England's quicks, South Africa found the tourists' spinners almost unplayable too, with Dom Bess keeping a tight line, but Root rampant.

Root pinned Pieter Malan lbw for 12 - the opener having faced 79 balls for those runs - and then prised out Rasse van der Dussen when Ollie Pope took off from short leg to grab a spectacular leaping catch.

Van der Dussen had survived a string of scares against Root, most notably when he successfully reviewed an lbw decision, and his time had been coming.

De Kock's bad day got even worse, a horribly sliced hoik at Root looping up for Wood to clutch a tremendous catch above his head at point.

And Root had a fourth victim when Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis (36) got a big inside edge into his pads and the ball looped up for Pope to collect.

South Africa need to find something big on day five to save face, and avoid going to Johannesburg needing a victory to draw the series. The skies offer their best hope.

England enjoyed a dream start to day four of the third Test against South Africa as they took four wickets for just one run before enforcing the follow-on with a 290-run lead.

South Africa ended day three on 208-6 in Port Elizabeth, with Quinton de Kock (63) and Vernon Philander (27) having held firm in the evening session.

However, the tourists took the new ball halfway through the final over on Saturday, and the fresh cherry did plenty of damage the following morning as South Africa collapsed alarmingly to 209 all out.

Amid overcast conditions at St George's Park, Stuart Broad led the way, sending Philander's stumps cartwheeling with his sixth delivery of the day before Sam Curran dismissed the Proteas' star performer De Kock.

Both Philander and De Kock were bowled through the gate, having left huge gaps between bat and pad with careless drives.

Keshav Maharaj also fell to a poor shot, playing on to Broad for a duck as he attempted to pull a ball that was not short enough for the shot.

Kagiso Rabada scored South Africa's only run with a clip down the leg side off Curran, but he soon departed as well, tamely chipping a Broad delivery straight to mid-off.

Joe Root, who instructed Dom Bess (5-31) to lead England off the pitch, unsurprisingly invited South Africa to bat again as the visitors looked to press home their advantage and secure a 2-1 series lead ahead of the final Test in Johannesburg.

The prospect of further rain provided some comfort to South Africa, who were facing a huge battle to avoid defeat without interruptions in play.

West Indies U19 Head Coach, Graeme West is backing the young team to show the qualities they have developed in the last year, when they bowl off their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign against three-time tournament winners Australia in Zone B at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Saturday, January 18.

The team is gaining confidence after wins in the two warm-up games against Canada and Scotland. All 15 players are fit and available for selection as the team begins their preparations for the opening group game against Australia.

West provided a detailed account of the team’s work as they prepare to start the ICC U19 World Cup which West Indies famously won in 2016.

“The two warm-up games were certainly competitive and provided all squad members with opportunities to demonstrate their skills and show that they had made the necessary adjustments to the conditions and wickets to be effective,” said West.

“The Scotland performance was an improvement on the Canada game when Nyeem Young and Antonio Morris batted superbly to turn the game around.

“The bowling unit was slightly below par against Canada given how well they have performed since the Tri-Series in December, but on Wednesday against Scotland we were far more controlled and disciplined.”

West said the most pleasing aspect of the Scotland game was the contribution from the top four batters, who needed time in the middle.

“Kevlon Anderson’s hundred was well-paced as he mixed good strike rotation with some power hitting. Captain Kimani Melius and Leonardo Julien set the tempo for the innings with run-a-ball half-centuries on a wicked that was well suited to their stroke play and positive intent,” West said.

“We are well aware of the quality Australia and England possess  and both games will provide great opportunities for our players to demonstrate the learning that has taken place over the last year, we know we will have to produce a perfect performance to beat both sides.”

He urged the West Indies fans to support the young team as they seek to emulate the title-winning class of 2016.

 “They know the importance of the tournament and the stage they are about to perform on and we would love to have everyone supporting and following us. The boys will be doing everything they can to make their friends, families and all the Windies Cricket fans proud,” he said.

 

England skipper Joe Root prompted confusion and hilarity on day two of the third Test with South Africa as he withdrew a declaration after a wicket was ruled out due to a no-ball.

When Mark Wood was caught at mid-on off Kagiso Rabada to seemingly leave England 467-9, Root called a halt to his side's first innings at Port Elizabeth.

However, replays then showed Rabada had over-stepped, prompting Root to reverse his decision and instead advise his side to carry on batting.

Wood and Ollie Pope, who had earlier completed his maiden Test century, made the most of the bizarre situation by plundering a further 31 runs - in addition to the run England received for Rabada's no-ball - in quick time.

After racing to 42 from 23 balls, Wood eventually holed out to deep midwicket off Keshav Maharaj (5-180) and England declared on 499-9, with Pope 135 not out.

Ben Stokes (120) had also reached three figures for the tourists prior to lunch as they kicked on superbly from an overnight score of 224-4.

Ben Stokes surpassed 4,000 Test runs on Friday with his century in the third Test against South Africa, becoming just the second England player to reach that landmark and take 100 wickets in the longest format.

The all-rounder joined compatriot Ian Botham on the list of players to achieve both feats, which now features seven men after Stokes' exploits in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Of those to have gone beyond 4,000 runs, India great Kapil Dev has the most wickets to his name with 434. Botham, who scored 5,200 runs in his career, is second with 383 wickets.

Stokes will look to add to his tally when South Africa begin their first innings at St George's Park. England reached lunch on day two on 335-4 with Stokes and Ollie Pope unbeaten on 108 and 75 respectively.

Daniel Vettori, Jacques Kallis, Garfield Sobers and Carl Hooper round off the list.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff fell short of 4,000 runs in his career. He took 226 wickets but managed 3,845 runs before retiring from Test cricket.

Kagiso Rabada will miss the fourth Test between South Africa and England after receiving a demerit point for his celebration of Joe Root's wicket on day one of the third Test.

Rabada was also fined 15 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC's code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.

The seamer beat the England captain for pace to dismiss Root for 27 in Port Elizabeth, reducing England to 148-4.

Rabada roared in celebration while just a matter of inches away from Root and was ruled to have violated Article 2.5 of the Code of Conduct, relating to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal during an international match".

Andy Pycroft of the ICC Elite Panel of Match referees proposed the sanction, which was accepted by Rabada, meaning a formal hearing was not needed.

Rabada now has four demerit points in a 24-month period and as a result will be unavailable for the final match of the series at the Wanderers, which starts on January 24.

The series is level at 1-1, with England claiming victory in Cape Town having lost the opener in Centurion.

Mark Wood was named in England's side for the third Test against South Africa, with Jofra Archer once again unavailable.

Captain Joe Root opted to give the fit-again Wood the nod to replace James Anderson, who sustained a rib injury in the Ben Stokes-inspired victory in Cape Town that levelled the four-match series at 1-1.

Paceman Archer missed out in Port Elizabeth as he continues to battle a troublesome elbow problem, while Wood earned a place over Chris Woakes, who was also in contention.

"Jofra pulled up a little sore with his elbow, but credit to Woody, he's fit and firing and that's an exciting place to be, and two guys up around 90mph is an exciting place for England cricket," Root said. 

"We need to make sure we back up [Cape Town] well."

Wood last played a competitive fixture in England's thrilling Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand in July and underwent knee surgery after the tournament.

The paceman's last Test match was against the West Indies in St Lucia 11 months ago, but Wood insisted he is raring to go.

"I went to La Manga with James Anderson then the fast bowlers' camp. There've been question marks about my fitness, but that last game [in St Lucia] gives me confidence," he said. 

"Short, sharp burst, four-five overs, give it everything I've got. The outfield is quite green so [you have] got to be clever working on the ball and look after it well."

England captain Joe Root pledged not to take any risks over the fitness of pace bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood on the eve of the third Test against South Africa.

A Ben Stokes-inspired England squared the four-match series at one apiece thanks to a thrilling victory on the final session in Cape Town eight days ago.

Glory came at a price, however, with James Anderson ruled out of the remainder of the tour due to a rib problem.

It means a potential opening for Wood or Archer – both of whom are capable of frequently topping 90 mph - providing their own injury complaints are in order.

Archer sat out the previous Test due to an elbow issue, while Wood has not played competitively since England's Cricket World Cup final win over South Africa in June.

"That decision hasn't been made," Root told a news conference, with regards to Anderson's replacement.

"It's important to use [Wednesday's] session and make sure we've got a really clear understanding of where everybody is at.

"We need to find that out and make sure we're really clear going into a five-day game that they are able to stand up to the challenges that will bring, physically and mentally, having not played for a little while.

"It is the sensible thing to do to hold off, get more information on the pitch and more information on where they're at.

"If they've proven themselves to be fit, if they've jumped through every hoop and worked very hard to get back there, you have to give them that opportunity."

Chris Woakes represents an alternative if England opt not to chance Archer or Wood, but there is no doubt selecting either of the speed merchants carries added allure.

Wood's most recent Test outing saw him claim first-innings figures of 5-41 thanks to a searing spell before being named man of the match in a 232-run demolition of West Indies in St Lucia.

"With Mark, if you look at the last summer of cricket he played, he actually got through a lot of cricket injury-free which is testament to how hard he's worked on his rehab and making sure his body can cope with different things. He's been managed well by the medical staff," Root said.

"The reason we've been quite cautious in terms of rushing him back is that history. If he's 100 per cent, bowling at 90mph-plus, the skills he has at that pace are going to cause problems and will be a great asset in Test cricket."

Root confirmed a specialist spinner will feature in the England attack in Port Elizabeth, with Dom Bess expected to keep his place ahead of the uncapped Matt Parkinson after Jack Leach returned home due to illness.

England's difference-maker could once again be Stokes, who was honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as its Player of the Year after a phenomenal 2019 in red and white-ball formats.

"It is hard to say any more superlatives, it is the right decision and it could not really have been anyone else," his captain added.

"The way he has performed across all the formats has been fantastic. In my opinion he is definitely the leading player in the world at the moment."

The MCC has backed the continuation of five-day Test matches rather than the potential reduction to four.

With the ICC exploring possible changes to the international calendar from 2023, national cricket governing bodies and players have become involved in the debate about the future of the longest format.

The MCC Cricket committee and MCC World Cricket committee have examined the issue and on Tuesday announced they were in favour of the status quo.

They recognised there were some benefits to four-day Test matches, which are already permitted in certain instances, but believe five should remain the standard.

"MCC has noted the recent discussion regarding the future of Test cricket and the ICC's desire to debate the introduction of four-day Test cricket to replace the current five-day format in the World Test Championship from 2023," read the statement.

"The MCC Cricket committee and MCC World Cricket committee have recently discussed the issue.

"Although they can see some benefits that four-day Test cricket could bring, both committees believe that Test cricket should continue to be played over five days."

The MCC World Cricket committee, which includes key figures from elite international cricket, meets twice a year and makes recommendations to the MCC, which remains the guardian of the laws and spirit of cricket.

India captain Virat Kohli and England skipper Joe Root have been among the high-profile players to state their preference for a continuation of five-day matches.

The ECB, though, have cautiously supported the concept of matches over four days to ease issues around fixture scheduling and player workloads.

England spinner Jack Leach will make a premature return home from the tour of South Africa after struggling to recover from illness.

Leach contracted sepsis during the tour of New Zealand in November and was also struck down with gastroenteritis and flu before the first Test against the Proteas last month.

The left-arm tweaker has not been able to regain full fitness and the tourists announced ahead of the third Test in Port Elizabeth that he will head back to England immediately.

"It has been an unfortunate time for Jack with illness and since the Test series in New Zealand six weeks ago, he hasn't been able to get 100 per cent fit," said England head coach Chris Silverwood.

"This has hampered his preparation in South Africa and despite his best endeavours he is not in a position to make himself available for selection for the final two Test matches.

"He is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality and popularity will be missed.

"However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England without any distractions.

"I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully he will recover in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March."

Mark Wood is reportedly set to get the nod ahead of fellow paceman Jofra Archer to replace the injured James Anderson on Thursday when England go in search of a 2-1 lead at St George's Park.

 

AB de Villiers says he would "love" to make a South Africa comeback but says talk of him playing in the T20 World Cup is premature.

The maverick batsman announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018 as he had "run out of gas."

Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt De Villiers, who turns 36 next month, to play for his country again after he was appointed as Proteas head coach last month.

Captain Faf du Plessis has also spoken of his hope that one of South Africa's greatest ever players will grace the international stage again and talks had been held over a return.

De Villiers is not getting ahead of himself, but would jump at the chance to feature in the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

"There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality," he said after scoring a quickfire 40 on his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat in a thrashing of Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday.

"I would love to. I've been talking to Bouch, Graeme Smith [South Africa director of cricket] and Faf back home, we're all keen to make it happen.

"It's a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there's the IPL coming up, I've still got to be in form at that time. 

"So I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. 

"It's not a guarantee, once again. I don't want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I'm just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year."

De Villiers appeared in 114 Tests for his country, with 228 ODI and 78 T20s under his belt.

Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes are locked in a battle for a spot in England's bowling attack for the third Test with South Africa. 

Fielding coach Paul Collingwood revealed the trio were all in contention to replace the injured James Anderson in Port Elizabeth.

With the series tied at 1-1, the tourists will hope to build on their impressive 189-run victory in the second Test, with Archer, Wood and Woakes eyeing a spot in the line-up.

"They've an opportunity over the next two training sessions to prove to us they should be the one in the team," said Collingwood.

"It's actually really nice to be able to come into a Test being able to choose from players who are 100 per cent ready to go.

"Here at PE [Port Elizabeth] it's generally a slower pitch, so sometimes having that kind of X-factor can be great.

"Sunday's training session was one of the best we've had for a long time.

"We saw bowlers really running in against the batters. They were really making it difficult for them. If we can do that more often, then our education as a team will grow very strongly and very quickly."

Responding to suggestions that Archer had lost his way after bursting onto the scene with England last year, Collingwood jumped to the 24-year-old's defence.

"He's very early on in his international career," he said. "He hasn't bowled a lot with the Kookaburra ball, which requires a completely different skillset from the Dukes. 

"His main skill is bowling 90 miles per hour plus. We have enough bowlers in and around the county circuit who can bowl at 82 to 85 miles per hour and try to nip it around. 

"You want the likes of Wood and Archer to give you that X-factor.”

The third Test begins on Thursday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.